The Abbey of San Vito is located 3 miles north of Polignano a Mare. According to legend, in 801, while the Princess of Salerno, Florenza, was droning in Sele river in Campania, she was saved by the intervention of the spirit of St. Vito. He asked her to transfer his body, together with those of his tutors Modesto and Crescentia, to a place called Marianus, in the Castrum Polymnianense. In all likelihood, the monastery was originally a place of worship for monks. Thanks to the port and its positioning, the village of San Vito became a flourishing center of commercial activity. The abbey houses a staircase dating back to the seventeenth century, which leads to the panoramic loggia. Here are discernible, unmistakable traces of the Baroque. The church, in Romanesque style, has three aisles. The old front door maintains the holes produced by the bullets of the Turks. The church is next to a small museum that preserves some remains of the church organ, paintings depicting the apostles and frescoes dedicated to the martyrs Modesto and Crescentia. The abbey is open on Sundays during the hours of the liturgy. The natural harbor hosts the red and green colored traditional fishing boats, which supply several nearby restaurants daily. The feast of the patron saint of Polignano, San Vito, takes place on June 14, 15, 16. It is marked by a procession of the relics of the saint on board a barge which begins in the village of San Vito and proceeds along the water to Polignano. The program of festivities includes fireworks displays and concerts.
© Sabino Parente photographer